My name is Christina King. I am an Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM) volunteer here in the Miami Valley. I also am a wife, mother, sister and friend . . . and I’m a daughter without a mother. I am one of the faces of Alzheimer’s disease. My mother, Janet Blazer, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 58. I lost my mother six years ago to Alzheimer’s. She suffered for 10 years, although she fought hard and she fought courageously. My family fought hard too.
After she passed, I vowed I would do everything I can to help fight this disease, and today I’m becoming more hopeful than I ever. I’ve participated and raised funds in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s for several years, and I have traveled to Columbus most years to
talk with state legislators about the importance of funding for people living with dementia and their caregivers. Now, I’m going even further by serving as an Advocacy Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association with federal legislators. I have also joined the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement.
AIM is the advocacy arm of the Alzheimer’s Association. It allows me and you to have even more impact on stopping this disease. AIM can add extra muscle to our advocacy efforts because they can take positions on issues and engage with legislators in ways that the Association can’t because of its non-profit status. For example, AIM has been instrumental in convincing federal legislators to increase Alzheimer’s and dementia funding at the National Institutes of Health. Together, our efforts have resulted in an $800 million increase in funding since 2015, and we’re shooting for another $400 million in 2018. AIM also was instrumental in the recent passage of the RAISE Act (Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage), which directs the Dept. of Health and Human Services to establish a national strategy for caregivers through education and training, long-term services and supports, and financial stability and security for caregivers. But there is still more to be done.
Although we’ve had some success recently, we must keep up the momentum because at $1.4 billion currently, we still spend less than 1 percent on research for a treatment or a cure compared to the $259 billion it costs every year to care for people with dementia. We MUST change that equation and do it quickly!
I’m asking you to do two things:
First, I’m asking you to join AIM. Membership costs only $20 a year, but your membership will help keep AIM staff on Capitol Hill every day advocating for our cause, and it will provide you with tons of information and resources to help urge legislators to do more.
Second, I’m asking you to contact me so that we can work together to write letters to legislators and the media to urge them to act to help end dementia. We have an urgent need to end or at least slow the coming tidal wave of dementia that has the potential to buckle our health care system and our families as baby boomers age. The time to act is NOW because there is still no effective treatment or a cure, but we’re closer than ever to realizing our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.®